Lionel Scaloni: I wish Maradona was here to enjoy World Cup 2022 success

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Lionel Scaloni wished Argentina great Diego Maradona had been present to see them win the World Cup in Qatar on Sunday.

Lionel Scaloni was left saddened by a sudden realisation late Argentina great Diego Maradona was unable to enjoy their World Cup success in Qatar.

Scaloni’s side beat France 4-2 on penalties after a remarkable 3-3 extra-time draw at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday.

It was Argentina’s first World Cup triumph since Maradona inspired them to glory in 1986, giving Lionel Messi his first success in the competition.

Maradona, who played for his national team from 1977 to 1994, died in November 2020 aged 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

His death was followed by three days of national mourning, which put into context how important a figure he was in Argentina.

And for Scaloni, the reminder of Maradona’s death was difficult on Sunday.

Asked what he would have said to Maradona if he had been present, Scaloni told reporters: “Well, you’ve made me realize that he’s not here, otherwise you’d think he was with us.

“Luckily we managed to lift this trophy, something we have dreamed of for so long, we are such a football passionate country.

“I hope he enjoyed it from the top. I’m sure if he was here he would have enjoyed it, he would have been the first one on the pitch.”

“Now you ask me that to make me realize he’s not here. I wish he was here to enjoy this moment.”

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